[Citizendium-l] Fwd: RE: Encyclopedia

Susan Awbrey Awbrey at oakland.edu
Wed Oct 18 08:29:07 EDT 2006

David and All:
I certainly agree that citing a primary source is not research and that it 
should be allowed in articles that claim verifiability and 
accuracy.  However, I'm not sure why original research has been 
banned?  First, I ask this because I thought CZ was going to be different 
from WP and it looks like we are recreating the same thing.  Second, if the 
goal truly is to allow as free an interchange as possible and CZ is going 
to have expert editors, why limit what can be posted?  Guess if I take the 
open environment concept of CZ to heart I would believe that all levels of 
articles (from high school through post doctorate) as well as all source 
levels of articles should be allowed....Why not, would be my 
question...what will it harm and it actually could add to both the learning 
and user mix.  Susan

At 09:08 PM 10/17/2006 -0400, David Goodman wrote:
>I think I agree,
> From the WP policy page:
>WP is not:
>Primary (original) research such as proposing theories and solutions, 
>original ideas, defining terms, coining new words, etc. If you have done 
>primary research on a topic, publish your results in other venues such as 
>peer-reviewed journals, other printed forms, or respected online sites, 
>and Wikipedia will report about your work once it becomes part of accepted 
>knowledge. Not all information added to Wikipedia has to be from 
>peer-reviewed journals, but please strive to make sure that information is 
>reliable and verifiable. For example, 
><http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Cite_sources>citing book, print, 
>or reliable web resources demonstrates that the material is 
><http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Verifiability>verifiable and is 
>not merely the editor's 
>This accepts most of what has been discussed as appropriate for WP, and it 
>is for us too.
>Relying on original research articles  is secondary research. Citing a 
>original document is not necessarily research.
>The "best " source depends on the purpose. The best source to verify a 
>fact or a date, is usually a reliable secondary or tertiary source. OED 
>for example is a secondary source, but few of us would usually try to 
>verify the examples. OED is scholarly because it is not a tertiary source; 
>it  is not prepared from other dictionaries. But for checking spelling do 
>we always use the OED?
>On 10/17/06, Zachary Pruckowski 
><<mailto:zachary.pruckowski at gmail.com>zachary.pruckowski at gmail.com> wrote:
>>In my opinion (and I'm not in charge, obviously), the issue with CZ as a 
>>source in a paper isn't accuracy or prevalence of references.  While an 
>>approved CZ article will be well written, accurate, and well referenced 
>>and cited and overall wonderful, there are some cases where it's not the 
>>best source.  There exist lots of cases where CZ articles will be 
>>trustworthy references, certainly more cases than CZ articles.
>>Here's a demo of what I'm talking about:
>>Event X occurs (whether it's an experiment or a historical battle or 
>>whatever doesn't matter)
>>Person A observes the event, or collects data on the event and publishes 
>>it (PubA1).  Others conduct similar experiments or write similar accounts 
>>of Event X (PubA2...An) (all of these are primary sources)
>>Person B reads PubA1, PubA2, etc, and comments on them in another paper 
>>or a book (PubB1...PubBn) (secondary sources)
>>Person C writes [[Event X]].  He/she can draw on all the PubAs and all 
>>the PubBs.  That makes us at best a secondary source, and more likely a 
>>tertiary source.
>>Because of the "No Original Research" rule, no CZ article can ever be a 
>>primary source.  In a lot of settings, people writing research papers 
>>should be referring to only primary and secondary sources, since they are 
>>essentially creating a secondary source (combining accounts, comparing 
>>and contrasting to analyze events and uncovering trends).  Therefore a 
>>tertiary source isn't the best way to go.  In a lot of circumstances, 
>>that doesn't matter, and CZ would then make a great resource.  There is a 
>>proposal (on the forums) to host primary and secondary source papers in 
>>much the same way that Wikimedia Commons hosts free images.  There is no 
>>way to keep the "No Original Research" rule and have Citizendium (CZ) be 
>>a primary or secondary source.
>>Zach Pruckowski
>>On Oct 17, 2006, at 1:52 PM, Susan Awbrey wrote:
>>>I think Christoph meant to send this to the list.  Susan
>>>>Date: Tue, 17 Oct 2006 12:24:45 -0400
>>>>From: "Wildgruber, Christoph U." <<mailto:wildgrubercu at ornl.gov> 
>>>>wildgrubercu at ornl.gov>
>>>>Subject: RE: [Citizendium-l] Encyclopedia
>>>>Dear All,
>>>>I was going to ask almost exactely the same question!
>>>>Now I haven't been very active contributing to this list
>>>>but trust me, I am reading a lot of what all of you are
>>>>saying and I am really excited about trying to do it right
>>>>this time.
>>>>As a scientist doing neutron beam experiments
>>>>for more than 20 years I am sure looking forward to use
>>>>Citizendium for my work as well as I do plan to contribute
>>>>with the (narrow) field of my expertise.
>>>>When I read Zachary's email I had almost exactely the same
>>>>thought's Susan had. Citizendium is supposed to do better
>>>>than Wikipedia and as far as I remember the comparison
>>>>'Nature' did between the Encyclopædia Britannica and Wikipedia
>>>>came up with a suprisingly good result for Wikipedia.
>>>>While this may not be true in all areas I can imagine it's true for
>>>>many scientific topics.
>>>>I think Citizendium has to aim at a higher goal and
>>>>I have read many good suggestions and ideas from all of you
>>>>how to achieve this.
>>>>I just want to quickly give you a short list of objectives which I 
>>>>essential for the success of Citizendium in the bigger pictures.
>>>>1) If I use encyclopedic information for a (e.g.) professional presentation
>>>>     I want to feel comfortable to use 'Citizendium' as a source and don't
>>>>     want to have the urge to cross check with a conventional encyclopædia
>>>>     (Information like that can be pretty basic but it needs to be formal,
>>>>     correct and deep enough)
>>>>2) Like conventional encyclopædias everybody who can read should be
>>>>     able to use it. If an article uses language which I am not 
>>>> familiar with
>>>>     I keep reading other articles until I know enough of what I want 
>>>> to know.
>>>>     I agree this does sometimes require extra effort but it also gives
>>>>     a real opportunity to learn something new.
>>>>3) References should be plenty, stable and cover different aspect of a 
>>>>     (I remember that years ago when I got a brand new encyclopædia I was
>>>>     dissappointed when I realized that - compared to the previous 
>>>> edition -
>>>>     many articles had much fewer references, probably to save space)
>>>>What I really want to say with all that is that I completely agree with
>>>>Susan and my guess is that she absolutely right concerning her assumptions
>>>>who will be interested in contributing to this wonderful project.
>>>>Hope I didn't waste your time...
>>>>Christoph U. Wildgruber
>>>>VISION Scientist
>>>>Oak Ridge, TN
>>>>-----Original Message-----
>>>><mailto:citizendium-l-bounces at lists.purdue.edu>citizendium-l-bounces at lists.purdue.edu 
>>>>on behalf of Susan Awbrey
>>>>Sent: Tue 17-Oct-06 8:15
>>>><mailto:citizendium-l at lists.purdue.edu>citizendium-l at lists.purdue.edu ; 
>>>><mailto:sanger-lists at citizendium.org>sanger-lists at citizendium.org
>>>>Subject: [Citizendium-l] Encyclopedia
>>>>Good Morning,
>>>>Zach's response to the encyclopedia question raises several questions for
>>>>me -- If we are creating an encyclopedia for high school educated people,
>>>>why are we doing that if Wikipedia already exists?  What will be different
>>>>about citizendium?  Will that charge be the best to attract a different
>>>>type of participant than Wikipedia (i.e., academics or experts) to assist
>>>>wtih the project?  Susan
>>>>Dr. Susan M. Awbrey
>>>>Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education
>>>>520 O'Dowd Hall
>>>>Oakland University
>>>>Rochester, Michigan 48309
>>>>Phone:  248-370-2188
>>>>Fax: 248-370-2589
>>>Dr. Susan M. Awbrey
>>>Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education
>>>520 O'Dowd Hall
>>>Oakland University
>>>Rochester, Michigan 48309
>>>Phone:  248-370-2188
>>>Fax: 248-370-2589
>>>Citizendium-l mailing list
>>><mailto:Citizendium-l at lists.purdue.edu>Citizendium-l at lists.purdue.edu
>>Citizendium-l mailing list
>><mailto:Citizendium-l at lists.purdue.edu>Citizendium-l at lists.purdue.edu
>David Goodman, Ph.D, M.L.S.
>Citizendium-l mailing list
>Citizendium-l at lists.purdue.edu

Dr. Susan M. Awbrey
Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education
520 O'Dowd Hall
Oakland University
Rochester, Michigan 48309
Phone:  248-370-2188
Fax: 248-370-2589
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